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'Violent net-porn killer' has conviction quashed

Faces retrial

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The man convicted of murdering a Brighton school teacher has had his conviction quashed by appeal court judges.

In February 2004 Graham Coutts, 36, of Hove, East Sussex, was handed a life sentence for the killing of Jane Longhurst.

In the original trial, jurors heard how he had viewed extreme violent internet pornography, particularly strangulation fetish sites. Coutts' defence argued that Ms Longhurst's death was an accident during consensual sex.

A trio of appeal judges yesterday upheld a Law Lords decision that the conviction was unsafe. The Law Lords said jurors should have been given the option of a manslaughter verdict.

The victim's mother, Liz Longhurst, recently claimed victory in her campaign to have possession of extreme sexual material outlawed. Ministers announced plans to introduce legislation in August.

Coutts remains in custody pending an Old Bailey retrial on fresh charges, though may apply for bail. ®

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